It’s the end of an era!! My baby’s nursery is about to get transformed into a brand new office. I have such strange mixed feelings about it. I am obviously so excited for the room to be transformed into an office for me; I currently work from the dining room table, which is nice…I love the decor of the dining room (video update here) the coffee pot is within arm’s reach, as is the fridge…but it’s just not practical. I have outgrown the space and it’s becoming too difficult to pack everything away each evening to service the table for what it was designed for and store any deliveries which arrive during the day. But it’s bitter sweet.

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

I remember excitedly designing the nursery for our first child’s arrival, planning each part of it because I wanted to give that tiny baby (who had no idea, nor was he in there for months!!) the best room I could give him. We didn’t know the sex until he was born, so I went for a unisex green & white colour scheme with clouds, cute bunting which matched the light and a cool canopy I found at a nearly new sale, finished off with some lovely little details from independant online stores including a sweet Owl and the Pussycat wall sticker. I was proud of it and I was ready to welcome our baby into the world (he kept us waiting for a lonnnng time)

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

I was particularly proud of the baby change station I had created, with a basket for every conceivable baby contraption and all.the.paraphernalia; everything carefully organised in its place. Of course it rarely stayed so neat, especially when dealing under pressure with a poo explosion of mammoth proportions, many times per day! Wipes flying around, the place covered in Sudocrem. But I loved it all the same. (The most embarrassing bad quality video of it here)

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

Many, many, many nights were spent feeding in the super comfy nursing chair which we bought from friend’s of ours. All those hundreds of sleepless nights, cradling our sweet boys as they fed multiple times throughout the night for months on end. The 17,000 rounds of You Are My Sunshine, a song we used to sing to both boys, memories I will cherish forever. I’m pretty sure I spent a fair few hours asleep in that chair too.

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

But, as I said it is the end of an era, a new transformation awaits this lovely little room which we spent so many hours in; rocking, singing, hushing, smiling, willing sleep, caring for our small little babies. Our boys who have grown into charming, clever, cheeky little men who pretty much demanded that they share a bedroom and were becoming really difficult to tear apart come night time. It seems to have come at the perfect time for us as a family and I am now so SO excited to have started the office transformation, and I can’t wait to share some of the ideas I have for the room, for the decor and design and for all the amazing videos and articles I am going to create from within this space.

Watch this space for mood boards, wish lists and design ideas a plenty! If anyone knows of any cool instagram interior shops please let me know in the comments!

 

 

Click here for a super embarrassing room tour whilst heavily pregnant/the size of a whale!

 

Follow:

Last weekend we traveled down to Brighton to stay at the brand new and super stylish Malmaison Brighton for a weekend away. But it wasn’t just any weekend away, Stuart was running the Brighton Marathon! It’s not often, since having children, that we get to enjoy a weekend away, child free, so I wanted somewhere that was special. One of our very first dates, 9 years ago, was dinner at Malmaison in Reading, and we both remember it fondly, so when I saw that there was a brand new Malmaison hotel in Brighton I was really pleased that it was nice and close to the centre.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

| Malmaison Brighton |

Boasting modern décor, stylish furnishings and perfect ocean views I was really excited to book and see what Malmaison Brighton was like in the flesh. It was the most perfect sunny day to visit Brighton – although I was worried about the heat for the marathon runners the next day. (Stuart ran the London marathon 10 years ago and it was the hottest day of the year back then too, ironically!) The hotel, located in the marina area, was around 2 miles from Brighton along an easy and scenic beach path. It was visible this area had been given a big facelift and the whole ambience felt like we’d popped down to the south of France for the day! The hotel itself had undergone a £5m transformation and had recently opened as the 15th boutique hotel in the chain.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison Brighton boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

The first impression I got of the hotel was the amazing outside bar. We walked in and immediately I knew it was totally stylish. It had beautiful views over the marina. We sat and had a drink before checking in, something we just don’t get the chance to do with our young children, certainly not in peace, anyway! The atmosphere was so friendly and people were in such a good mood – unsurprisingly considering it was a balmy 19 degrees and everyone sat enjoying their delicious cocktails and crisp cold beers overlooking the boats. I only wish that we had had longer to be able to test out some of the cocktails and soak up the sun – but we had to rush out to register for the race.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

The rooms themselves were so light and airy with uber cool and contemporary style. Our room was overlooking the marina – we had the luxury of a lovely little balcony where we sat and watched the world go by. Our room had all the modern amenities including an absolutely huge TV, WiFi, fancy coffee machine and the most comfortable bed with beautifully soft sheets and luxury feather bedding.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison Brighton boutique hotel  a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison Brighton boutique hotel

After we had spent our day exploring Brighton and registering Stuart for the race we headed back to Malmaison to slowly get ready. I don’t think it’s possible to fully appreciate having time to yourself to get ready until you’ve had children! We called the boys and had a chat about their day. It had been incredibly hot in Brighton and we actually felt pretty exhausted. After a gorgeous “rain” shower I wrapped myself up in one of the fluffy robes and sat on the balcony watching the sun go down. I must have said to Stuart about 5 times that I just felt like I was on holiday, or on a cruise liner! I felt so relaxed and happy. I was enjoying myself so much, watching the sunset over the marina, listening to the sailboats clinking away and the hum of the chatter from the below restaurants was so peaceful and calming.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

We had to be up and out early the next morning, so we booked into the brasserie downstairs for dinner. Having seen the beautiful cocktails coming out of the bar earlier in the day I knew that we were in for a treat when it came to dining and I was so pleased that we had chosen to eat there. The restaurant itself was stylish with characteristically dark decor and low lit lighting creating an elegant and chic atmosphere.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

Hopefully the pictures do our meal at Malmaison Brighton’s Chez Mal brasserie justice because it was just so delicious. The style of cooking I would say was a mixture of French/British cuisine mixed with contemporary Asian fusion food. I began the meal with a Malmaison Fizz – Maison Champagne, Finlandia Grapefruit, Kamm & Sons Ginseng, Belvoir elderflower and it was refreshing and delicious (supportive wife, I know – Stuart had tea!)

For starter I had the tuna tartare which was a beautifully melt in the mouth texture, personally I couldn’t get on with the flavour from watermelon accompaniment but the avocado & wasabi sauce was perfection. Stuart chose the parfait which they had unfortunately just run out of. Our waiter went through some possible alternatives, none of which Stuart liked the sound of but he kindly offered something from a different menu which was perfect – Spring lamb Benedict – Slow braised Dorset lamb shoulder with American glaze, brioche and mint Béarnaise.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

A palate cleanser of sorbet and champagne poured at the table.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

For mains I chose the Lobster risotto with Mal house side salad – I always choose fish when we dine out, I guess because I don’t cook it as often for myself at home and I just love fish. Stuart (predictably) went with the Pan roast Black Angus New York strip steak served with a creamy garlic mash and beautiful bearnaise sauce -which I have to say I had total food envy over, it was cooked to perfection!! To my dismay we were both too absolutely full to order pudding – a first! But they all looked delicious, I think I would have chosen the Valrhona dark chocolate fondant with Peanut butter ice cream & sesame brittle, had I not already been ready to be rolled out of there!

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

We were served by the lovely Colm who had also looked after us when we first arrived at the bar earlier in the day. He was so interested in talking to us, despite the usual pressures of serving a busy restaurant, and made us feel really welcomed. All the staff did actually, especially the lovely lady who checked us in, we found everyone to be so friendly and helpful. The only slight negative from our whole experience was breakfast the next day. The hotel had several marathon guests staying, and they had attentively arranged for the breakfast to be laid on especially early to accommodate everyone, which was really great. Runners nervously hurried to fuel up for the day ahead, but perhaps the hotel didn’t realise quite how many people they would have to serve and it ended up in quite a restless queue full of anxious people needing to wait a period of time and then rush through their breakfast to get going for the day. I think the main problem was that everything was table service and cooked to order, perhaps on this occasion it may have been better to organise a hot breakfast buffet which people could help themselves to, or perhaps have more staff serving.

Having said that, the breakfast was delicious and of course normally this would not have posed a problem at all. I eventually had the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs while Stuart had eggs and maple bacon – I actually think it was rather kind to start the breakfast so early for everyone.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

We had the most perfect stay and I am so pleased we were able to stay at the brand new Malmaison Brighton, I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking to stay in Brighton and I really hope we can come back to visit another day – ideally when we didn’t have a marathon to have to fit into the trip!

Malmaison Brighton kindly invited us to stay at their new hotel but all views are my own and I would honestly love to go back again one day soon.

Follow:

I just couldn’t resist showing you this quick Spring outfit blog post as I am so in love with this blush pink coat which is perfect for the change in season when it’s warm but once the sun goes behind a cloud you remember it is still only April! Teamed with these total bargain shoes which are so comfortable, it makes a perfect Spring transitional outfit! If you watch my Youtube channel you’ll know that I recently bought a blush pink waterfall coat which was sadly just too big and I’ve not been able to find another one since.

The perfect blush pink coat for Spring beauty, lifestyle and parenting blogger from the UK, come and find us on YouTube under mumadventures

Luckily for me I found this one from New Look for the super affordable price of £29.99, it’s oversized so I got a 6, although the arms are a little snug. It’s just the perfect coat for this season where it’s still too cold in the UK on some days to go out without one but when the sun is shining you don’t want anything too heavy and hot

The perfect blush pink coat for Spring beauty, lifestyle and parenting blogger from the UK, come and find us on YouTube under mumadventures

on-trend-coat

I kept this Spring outfit it simple with these fab jeans from Topshop, high waisted & perfect for hiding the “mum tum” and, essentially, avoiding the inevitable “mum bum” when crawling around after toddlers. They are more expensive than other high street jeans but are definitely an investment purchase, coming in at around £40, but they are the best jeans I own. The cropped white top was £6 and could be swapped with a little t-shirt if you felt more comfortable.

The perfect blush pink coat for Spring beauty, lifestyle and parenting blogger from the UK, come and find us on YouTube under mumadventures

My my most comfortable shoe purchase comes from Primark, I think these were around £14!! The easy to wear cream colour and comfortable thick straps and heel will definitely keep them as my go-to summer shoe.

The perfect Primark shoes for Spring beauty, lifestyle and parenting blogger from the UK, come and find us on YouTube under mumadventures

This whole outfit cost £90, and almost half of that is on the jeans which as I said are a real investment, but it always seems to get the most compliments. There’s just something about that coat…

Photos by Etienne.

Follow:

We excitedly headed up to Wembley on Saturday to watch Disney On Ice, the newest show for 2017, which celebrates 100 years of Disney magic from from Frozen, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Mulan as well as Mickey and Minnie Mouse & co.

Disney On Ice

This was the first experience the boys have had of live Disney, all morning we were talking to them about it, but having never been they didn’t really understand what it was we were getting so excited about. I had heard really good things and read other people’s blogs about their reviews and experiences at Disney on ice and I was so looking forward to seeing their little faces, so on went the ears and off we went on our way up to London.

Disney on Ice are returning to the UK with 100 Years of Magic through Spring 201

We pre-booked our parking online and chose the Yellow carpark, which was around £16 for the day. It was a really easy car park to get to and was about a 7 minute walk from the SSE Arena, which after deliberating about getting the train, was the much easier option for us coming in from Hampshire.

100 years of Walt Disney magic with characters from Frozen, Snow White, Tangled as well as Mickey and Minnie Mouse

100 years of Walt Disney magic with characters from Frozen, Snow White, Tangled as well as Mickey and Minnie Mouse

The show started, illuminating the stage and flooding the arena with shining lights. Immediately the boys sat up and looked expectantly at the ice rink ahead of us. Mickey and Minnie Mouse kicked off the show with a foot stomping introduction encouraging children to include fitness into their daily routine with a fun song focused around their ‘Fit To Dance’ program. Surrounded by backing skaters all dancing beautifully to the beat.

10 thousand twinkly lights flickered from the audience as children excitedly waved their glowing wands and swords around happily as each tale was unveiled, introducing all of our most loved characters in beautiful costumes and make up.

Disney On Ice

The Disney hits just kept coming, mixing longer features with shorter scenes from the likes of Finding Nemo, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, The Lion King, and of course Frozen. I love how they managed to include so much detail from the films in such a short space of time, without making them feel like they were rushed, each film flowing seamlessly to the next.

Disney On Ice

Disney On Ice

I loved the extended Frozen part, we entered the kingdom of Arendelle which Henry was most excited about (see video!) and ventured up to The North Mountain for a beautiful dance solo from Queen Elsa around her ice castle. Olaf was a huge hit with the audience, as he entered snow fell from the skies the audience cheered. His solo song “Summer” was a great song to sing along to with the brightly coloured insects cheerily dancing around him.

Disney On Ice

Our youngest is almost 2, and like most boys, doesn’t do sitting still for long. The first half is around an hour and a half and he was just getting a little restless towards the last 10 or so minutes of the first half. Which I think is pretty good going for a young toddler, nothing a few hugs and chair swapping with big brother didn’t fix!

Disney On Ice

Disney On Ice

During the interval we headed out to stretch our legs and find some snacks. Of course Henry wanted the £11 Olaf drink cup, filled with rainbow slushy ice. There were several stalls with brightly coloured toys and food to tempt the children but personally I found the prices to be really expensive for what they were – but this isn’t anything out of the ordinary for shows like this, I know.

Disney On Ice

Disney On Ice

Disney On Ice 2017 london wembley review

Toy Story came on with the happy tune You’ve Got A Friend In Me which we all loved. Recently I’ve really got into the music from the films and see how they really add to the magic of Disney films. During the show the collection of Disney melodies included family favourites like “Hakuna Matata,” “Tale As Old As Time” and “Let It Go.” (All of which I’m pretty sure I know all the words to!)

Disney On Ice 2017 london wembley review

Disney On Ice 2017 london wembley review

Disney On Ice 2017 london wembley review Disney On Ice 2017 london wembley review

The 100 years of Disney magic performance included music from 14 tales, with 30 songs and 50 lovable Disney characters and at the end they all came back on stage and received our cheers. It really was a magical show and the seed has definitely been planted in all of us to go and experience more Disney magic. One day I would absolutely love to take the boys to Florida, so that’s definitely something to save up for.

Disney On Ice 2017 london wembley review Disney On Ice 2017 london wembley review

Disney On Ice 2017 london wembley review

I was kindly gifted the tickets for us to go along and review the show, but we absolutely loved it and as always all views are my own.

Have you been to see Disney On Ice? I would definitely recommend catching the show while it is touring the UK in 2017. Keep your eyes peeled for the video of our day over on my YouTube channel.

Follow:

I’m on a forever mission to be the fun mum: This usually ends in major #mumfail. Like that time I tried to impress my 3 year old and ended up flying face first off of a trampoline, almost breaking my knee. Or when on holiday I fell head first into a river, in an attempt to get the perfect angle for a family photo. Laughter is the soundtrack to our parenting style and without fail Stuart will be able to make the boys fall about in fits of it mid toddler meltdown, essential skills for life with 2 under 4!

#markwarnermum travel to Bruge to document for Mark Warner Mum ambassadorship 2017

As both a Mum of 2 young boys and a huge fan of travel we’ve seen our fair share of change when it comes to travel must haves before and after children. We’ve been so fortunate in the past to have done a lot of traveling and have managed to see so much of the world as young and care (child!) free singletons. Flash forward 5 years Stuart is out the house 12 hours a day working and as soon as the children go to bed it’s my turn to work. Time together is a fragile balance and duly savoured over the weekends, our carefree days exchanged for a blur of nappies and sleepless nights.

top 10 travel essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

top 10 travel essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

We love to make all of our travels an adventure even within our own country but I’ve been thinking a lot lately how I would love to spend quality time as a family learning new things, and not just seeing new things. A chance for balmy days spent teaching the boys to swim under the summer sky, the opportunity for Stuart and I to learn a sport or skill together.

top 10 travel essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

top 10 holiday essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

After we had Henry we did a little traveling in North America, however latterly our adventures have been constrained to the UK. You see traveling with children isn’t quite what it used to be. Gone are the spontaneous weekends away, jumping on the Eurostar a distant memory. Our Top 10 holiday essentials are not quite what they used to be.

I thought I would share my top 10 travel must-haves…Now if you’re a parent also you’ll know that packing isn’t quite the same post children, so I wanted to share my top 10 holiday essentials – before and after kids!

TOP 10 HOLIDAY MUST-HAVES BEFORE KIDS….

top 10 holiday essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

 

  1. Outfits. 3 per day. Hiking in the morning, perusing the town’s market in the afternoon, not forgetting a special dress for each evening to wear to a fancy restaurant.
  2. Bikinis. 7 in total. Well I can’t be seen in the same one in each photo?!?
  3. Books. Plenty of them and as many magazines. Hours spent reading, lounging by the pool ordering cocktails and nachos.
  4. Factor 6 tanning oil. No responsibilities and no apparent awareness for sun safety!
  5. Cocktails!! See points 1 and 3. Time to drink and party and roll in at 4am...well we wont be getting up ’til noon anyway so we can worry about the hangover tomorrow…
  6. Make Up. Lots of it. A bag full! Nights out are prefixed by 2 hours blissfully getting ready by myself.
  7. Sun bathing. Not a must have, but certainly a must-do. To be done at our leisure. Hot? Take a dip in the pool or a trip to the swim-up bar…
  8. Accessories. Planning outfits months in advance and making sure I have just the right fedora to compliment that new Maxi dress of mine.
  9. Hair dryer, straighteners, tongs, curling iron…Did I mention I have 2 hours to get ready each night??
  10. The Spa. Ahhh, the spa. Couples massage? Go on then, we’re on holiday after all…

TOP 10 HOLIDAY MUST-HAVES AFTER KIDS….

 

top 10 holiday essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

  1. Outfits. 3 in total for the week including something I can be comfortable in whilst cosying up on the sofa once the children are down to sleep.
  2. Bikinis. High-waisted essential to hide inevitable mum-tum. In fact a swimsuit would be best. There’s a whole lot of bending down involved when looking after children by the pool.
  3. Books. Hmm, I had one of those once. It was replaced with an iPad, pre-loaded with the CBeeBies App.
  4. Factor 50 sun block. To be frantically applied 6 times a day, attempting to avoid mixing with sand, dodging imminent toddler meltdown.
  5. Juice…Squash. Water. Ice Pops. Anything to make sure little one is hydrated and won’t suffer from heat exhaustion when all they want to do is play. Repeat hourly.
  6. CC Cream. Store by the front door so you can apply quickly on your way down to breakfast (after having packed 4 beach bags full of stuff, wrestled toddlers to get dressed, yawned 3,000 times)
  7. Bucket and spade, frisbee, skittles. Anything to entertain the children with. Why not build a huge sandcastle with big windows for you to look out of over at the couples sunbathing, carefree, cocktail in hand.
  8. Accessories. 12 children’s sun hats – ensuring you have at least 1 that doesn’t get lost throughout the week.
  9. Dry Shampoo. You may, if you’re lucky, have time for at least one shower without a small visitor or 2 tugging at the shower curtain. Maybe take a couple of cans just in case.
  10. Baby Wipes. Ever been at a spa where they bring round cold cloths for your hot brow? I have and it was bloody glorious. Well that you can forget that. Instead bring 247 packs of wipes for all those baby related spills, scrapes and sick.

Check out my Pinterest Board for more Travel must-haves and holiday Pins!

I hope our passion for travel is passed down to the children. There really is so much to see in this world and I love showing the boys the beauty that travel has to offer. As part of our application I’ve made a little vlog of our travels in 2016, we would love it if we could make a very special one for 2017!

 

#nofilter – have you ever seen a more incredible sunset?!

top 10 holiday essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

I’d love to know how your must have holiday items have changed since having children – let me know below!

top 10 travel essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

top 10 travel essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

Follow: